One of my favourite things in the Cypriot press is the Cyprus mail and the excellent "Tales from the coffeshop" by Patroclos.
If you missed his election sunday column then please read below. As i have reposted below: Please bear in mind credit and reproduction ot be given to Patroclos and the Cyprus mail.
Tales from the Coffeeshop: Feeling sorry for the sad losers
Published on May 22, 2011
ELECTION DAY poses a big moral dilemma for all us Sunday piss-artists, who have to write for a living. The dilemma arises from the fact that elections are always held on a Sunday, the day that most weekly columns appear.
According to the election law, on this day, any form of electoral campaigning is banned. This means we could not write that the Eurococks have the most progressive policies on immigration, that Diko is the most idealistic party or that Lasok sounds like a drug for constipation, as this could be construed as an attempt to influence voters.
This is the moral dilemma: do we disregard the law and write a column about the elections or comply with it by writing nothing, not getting paid and leaving our family without food for a few days? As a law-abiding citizen I hate to break the law, but putting food on the family table has to be a good reason for doing it.
We could avoid the dilemma by writing about the latest developments in the Cyprob, the comrade’s nine-day visit to Australia and the dirt cheap prices of cucumbers and tomatoes, but we would be letting down our customers, who expect our establishment to advise them who to vote for on election day.
Not wanting to disappoint loyal customers or to leave my kids without food, I have taken the heroically courageous decision to defy the law. I just hope that if I end up behind bars Coffeeshop customers would declare Patroclos a political martyr and stage big protests in all towns and villages demanding his immediate release.
OVER THE last few weeks, several people have asked me, ‘what do you think will happen in the parliamentary elections?’
Every time I have been caught unaware, my stock response being ‘I don’t think,’ which is a civil way of saying ‘I really don’t give a damn, and I feel sorry for you for being such a sad loser, wasting valuable minutes of your life thinking about these boring elections, why don’t you get a life.’
I know I am an even sadder loser writing about the elections, but I feel I need to make this personal sacrifice for the sake of the Coffeeshop’s loyal customers, whose right to be misinformed is non-negotiable and I am willing to risk imprisonment for it.
MISINFORMATION, to use a milder term than lies, has been the key feature of the election campaign. The campaigns of all the big parties have knowingly misinformed or made promises that even the last idiot know they cannot keep. As always worst lies have been uttered with regard to the Cyprob.
Take for instance Edek, which wants us to vote for it because it would ensure a “democratic solution” and ensure the “withdrawal of rotational presidency.” How it would do this, we were not told, because the party does not have a clue.
The Eurococks are no better. A vote for them, would not only lead to the withdrawal of rotational presidency, it would also rid us of the Turkish settlers (Edek hasn’t figured out how to achieve this) and pave the way for the “European solution” that will ensure we live happily ever after.
THE BIGGEST disappointment in this campaign has been Diko, which has been very subdued. It drastically toned down its fiery, patriotic rhetoric and made nothing of its idealistic devotion to high principles, sticking instead to bland reminders of its glorious past and its support for the ‘no-vote’ in the referendum, of seven years ago.
The ‘no-vote’ in the referendum is the only thing it has in common with the commies of Akel, which the bash-patriotic party has been very careful not to offend in the campaign. Diko’s slogan, for heaven’s sake, is ‘Yes to stability, No to stagnation.’
What has happened to the proud party of Spy Kyp and the Ethnarch, the party that always acted as our guardian angel protecting us from the vile plots of foreigners and ensuring our national survival? Suddenly, it is acting like an Akel satellite, peddling stability and pandering to our commie rulers. Its most hard-line candidates, very disappointingly, have lost their patriotic voice, avoiding mention of the comrade’s nationally suicidal handling of the Cyprob during the campaign
POLITICAL rivals mischievously claimed that Diko boss Marios Garoyian was acting like Akel’s poodle and had turned his party into a commie satellite because he wanted another term as House president. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Had they read the interview Marios gave to Kathimerini in March 2009, they would not make such scurrilous allegations. “When it comes to matters of principle, matters relating to the survival of the country, no chair interests me, no public post and no spoil.”
Is it his fault that no matters of principle or issues relating to our national survival are at stake in these elections and he is free to show an interest in the chair and the spoils?
WE ALL expect the mass production of misinformation and empty promises on the Cyprob during a campaign because this has proved our most successful industry and is what our politicians know how to do best.
But many customers of our establishment were taken aback by Disy’s advertising campaign, which implied that by voting for the party, by tomorrow, all our problems would be a thing of the past. The message of the ad was that on May 21 youths were sad and depressed (picture showing them), on May 22 ‘Youths took the future in their hands’ by voting for Disy, and on May 23, the picture showed them sitting in the park smiling and laughing.
We can only deduce that they had been smoking marijuana, because there is no way that they had found a job and personal happiness over the election weekend.
THE SAME advertising concept and lay-out was applied to a man leaving a business that has closed down on May 21. On May 22 ‘workers and small business owners took the future in their hands, voted for Disy and on May 23, presto, the man’s business re-opened and he was smiling again.
This guy must have taken something stronger than marijuana to be hallucinating about his business re-opening two days after it had been closed down.
THE WORST election ad by far was the one used by Edek at the start of the campaign which urged voters to ‘Break the moulds’. The visual of the ad had some Neanderthal man leaving what looked like a cave (in reality it was the mould he had broken out of) in search of food. I suspect the ad failed to boost the Neanderthal vote (Edek traditionally does very well in the Paphos district anyway), which is why we have not seen it in the last few weeks.
MANY CANDIDATES used text messages to win support. Top prize in this category goes to the well-known Nicosia beautician who was not standing herself. Her text message said: “I am your friend Maria Papasavva and I am relying on your vote for my son, parliamentary candidate of Diko no. 17 Alexi Papasavva. Thank you.”
This moving plea by the loving mother was based on a sound political argument. Women must vote for Alexi because his mother waxed their legs and bikini line.
COMMIE leader Andros Kyprianou sparked a classic knee-jerk reaction when he was quoted as saying that he would rather have a left-wing Turkish Cypriot as president than a right-wing Greek Cypriot. Everyone turned on him for this treacherous view as political outrage is common currency in public life. Personally I would rather have an illegal immigrant, on welfare, from Pakistan, as president than an Akelite, because our economy’s future would be much safer in non-communist hands.
OUR GOOD friend Charilaos never gives up his efforts of shifting the blame for the economy’s mess on others. What blame could he have. He is just the finance minister.
On Wednesday he said that he was “ashamed” when he saw people who had invested in Cyprus government bonds last October, at an interest rate of 3.8 per cent. Now the yield on these bonds was 6.5 per cent, because there was less confidence in the Cyprus economy, something which had nothing to do with the finance minister.
“Senior officials” were to blame, according to Charilaos, because they questioned the government’s data on the economy, thus creating a bad impression and forcing interest rates to rise. We all know that the “senior officials” he was referring to is one – the Central Bank Governor.
One thing our good friend never asks himself is why international markets and ratings agencies take the views of “senior officials” about the economy more seriously than the finance minister’s? Is it because his optimistic forecasts are as believable as DISY’s election ads?
AFTER the elections, Charilaos has promised he would tackle the state pension problem. He would achieve this through “consent and dialogue” with the parasites’ union PASYDY, which means he and his boss would beg the miserable moaner Hadjiklamouris to make a tiny concession that could be presented as a big compromise and the matter will be closed.
In the last week a complication surfaced with regard to state pensions. The altruistic, public spirited government doctors’ union brought up a long-standing demand – they want the years they spent studying and working to qualify as doctors to count as years of service when their pension is calculated.
At present their pensions are not as high as the rest of the highly-paid public parasites, because they have fewer years of service. Why not also calculate their years at high-school when they spent a lot more hours studying than the rest of us in order to get the grades that would get them into medical school.
I am certain Charilaos will satisfy the doctors’ just demand when he reforms the pension system through dialogue and consent.
WE HAVE reached the end of this week’s Coffeeshop without answering the million dollar question – what is at stake in today’s parliamentary elections? My guess would be ‘nothing’ but more authoritative commentators believe it is the House presidency which will determine the alliances in the 2013 presidential elections.
If DIKO and AKEL secure a majority, Garoyian would get the second term and the alliance of the two parties would contest the presidentials. If they fail to get a majority, DISY would probably back EDEK chief Omirou for the House presidency and pave the way for an alliance in 2013, the socialists backing the Fuhrer’s candidacy.
The country would benefit if Omirou becomes House president (he is not as big a windbag as Garoyian, but he has a better vocabulary) because Garoyian, free of official commitments, would be able to give all his time to matters of principle and ensure the national survival of country, which I fear may face many threats from many directions over the next few months. And we would be in a better position to face them if freedom warrior like Marios does not have the distraction of the House presidency.
I HOPE our establishment will have helped you make the right choices today. To summarise, if you are an unemployed youth and quite enjoy living off your parents do not vote for DISY, because if it wins, tomorrow you will have a job. But if your business has gone bust and you want to re-open it tomorrow, vote for DISY.
If it is stability you are after vote for AKEL and it will make sure Garoyian gets his second term. Personally I would have voted for the Eurococks had they told us how much water would be needed for the European solution, because I would hate the solution being too thick.